370,000 tonnes of freight moved by rail in a week in fight against Coronavirus

Freight being loaded on railway. Rail Freight Coronavirus
Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail has announced that their key workers have enabled 370,000 tonnes of freight to be moved from London and Cornwall and into Wales to support the economy, the NHS, petrol stations and food in shops to help with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Teams have kept the railway throughout the coronavirus pandemic and have put in a number of steps to make sure key workers can get to their critical jobs and move tonnes of supplies by rail.

A reduced passenger timetable was introduced on Monday so a reliable service would be in operation to get key workers to work while allowing more freight trains to run to meet demand.

Included in 370,000 tonnes of freight moved just this week was 1,200 tonnes of food and medicines for shops, 2,000 tonnes of tinplate from Llanelli to create food cans and petrol products from South Wales to keep the supply chain moving.

Another service that has been maintained is the removal of house waste from cities, including London.

The amount of food being moved on the railway by freight across Wales and between west London and Cornwall this week has increased by 20%.

What did the officials say?

Mark Langman, managing director for Network Rail’s Wales and Western region, said:

“I am incredibly proud of the role Network Rail teams have played in keeping our railway open for key workers and critical freight supplies.

“Without them we wouldn’t have been able to help the NHS or other emergency staff get to their places of work and we wouldn’t have been able to help keep power stations going, petrol at the pumps, medicines available and vital supplies in our shops.

“It has been a challenge particularly operating and maintaining the railway where colleagues are required in the work place. We have had to reduce some of our work to prioritise vital supplies and key workers. We are working closely with government and transport partners and will continue to do so.”

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  1. Hopefully this method of goods transportation will continue after the virus has gone. Maybe, just maybe, government will see the sense in keeping goods on the railways to reduce the pressure on the motorway system.

    • That’s been obvious to everyone except them for the last 55 years. When Ernest Marples was Transport Minister I realised they were firmly in the pockets of the Road Lobby.


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